Chat with Joe Theismann
Moderator (5:09 PM)
Hello everyone .. Joe should be joining us momentarily .. thanks for your patience.
Moderator (5:53 PM)
Hang tight folks .. Joe is finishing up some things and will join the room as soon as possible ..
Joe Theismann (6:08 PM)
Hi everyone.. sorry for being a little late, This place is a maze.. but I'm here and ready to go. Fire away with questions...
Joe, besides Peppers, what one player needs to make an impact for them to win?
Joe Theismann (6:10 PM)
I really think it has to be Jake Delhomme, the Pats designs their defense to take away what the other team's offense does best. For the Panthers, that's running the ball. This game is on the arm of Delhomme.
David, Boston, MA
Joe: Do the Panther DB's and linebackers have it together to be as rough on the receivers as the Pats DB's were vs. the Colts?
Joe Theismann (6:12 PM)
They can be as physical. The problem is that there will be mor receivers to cover than the Colts put out. When you've got Branch, Johnson, Givens and Brown, I don't know if Carolina has enough DBs to go around.
Chris (Goldsboro, NC)
Do you really think with a hurt Ted Bruschi that the Patriots can shut down Davis and Foster and contain the Carolina passing attack?
Joe Theismann (6:13 PM)
Yes. Because the Pats has adjusted to injuries all year. Although the Bruschi situation is intriguing. Teddy is a bit of a spark plug for that defense, As an inspiration, he provides motivation. But from a schematic standpoint, I don't think it will matter. Everyone said they couldn't survive without Lawyer Milloy.... I rest my case.
Justin (Rapid City)
Do you think the panther fron 4 can cause MAJOR headaches for brady... or is their short passing attack going to take the panthers 4 out of it.
Joe Theismann (6:15 PM)
The short quick passing game will create problems for Carolina's defense. The big key will be the tackling of the secondary and linebackers. That's where the onus will wind up for Carolina. I don't think they'll be able to get to Brady. Contrary to what Warren Sapp things, I think Hochstein can play.
Sean (Martinsburg, WV)
Can the Pats be as efficient with their running game as the Panthers
Joe Theismann (6:17 PM)
No. But they don't have to be. Think about the team that won Super Bowl XXXVI, Smith was effective, not dominating. And that's all he has to be in this game. Plus, you've got Faulk, who can be a receiver, Cloud who can be a speed back, and Larry Centers who can also be a receiver. What I'm saying is that N.E. struggles if their receivers drop the ball and they wind up in third and long situations.
With Joe Gibbs back in town do you see the redskins making a push for the playoffs next season? It seems Dan Snyder takes alot of critism for doing what it takes to make his team competitive.
Joe Theismann (6:21 PM)
Snyder gets too criticized in my opinion. All he wants to do is bring back a championship to Washington. Joe Gibbs has the formula for success. It would not be a reach, to say that the Redskins can make the playoffs next year. After all in his second year as a head coach he won a world championship. I should know I had the privledge to quarterback for him.
Joe Theismann (6:22 PM)
On that note, I want to say hi to my boys Patrick and Joe who are freezing their butts off in Washington. Sorry guys, but it's 70 in Houston, now back to the chat...
Joe Theismann (6:23 PM)
I think that the Redskins have enough talent to make the playoffs, They need a running back. I think Corey Dillon would be an excellent fit. They could use some help on defense. On offense, Kellen Winslow Jr. would be a great addition to that offense.
How much do you think special teams will figure in this one, and which team has the better overall unit? Do you think NE will continue to try and play a field position game? Will it come to that?
Joe Theismann (6:25 PM)
I don't think it's as important for the Pats to play a field position game because weather isn't a factor. The special teams and defenses of each of these teams match up fairly well. The Pats have a more explosive offense. I don't think Jake Delhomme will be able to get away with hanging one up like he did against Philly and get away with it. Delhomme has got to play well. The Super Bowl is all about handling pressure -- from within yourself and from the opponent, and pressure to make plays. That's a key for Carolina... because Carolina doesn't throw the ball 45 times per game, when Delhomme gets his chances, he's got to be sharp.
Being a big Bears fan, can you assess the new hirings by Coach Smith and comment on your opinion of the whole situation there?
Joe Theismann (6:29 PM)
Lovie Smith will bring two important elements to the Bears -- discipline and direction. Now, that's not to say Dick Jaron did not, but sometimes you just have to make a change for change sake. Look at the great job that Jaron did with a relatively, not very talented ball club, but winning as many games as they did in the second half of the season. His guys always played hard and to the end. Lovie Smith will benefit for that. As far as a head coach goes, you get judged on the success or failure of your team, but the guys who make the difference are your coordinators. Ron Rivera and Terry Shea will have some talent to work with but both free agency and the draft will be critical for the Bears.
What do you the keys of the game are for the pats to win it.
Joe Theismann (6:30 PM)
Stopping the run -- making them a one dimensional offense. Blocking the Panthers front four -- they can do that using an additional tight end and still get quick, fast receivers out. You basically saw the job they did on Dwight Freeney in the AFC Champ. game using tight ends and backs to control the rush. If they decide they want to throw the football it will be critical that the receivers catch them. If the Pats can get ahead early, they'll force Carolina to chance their phylosophy. More on that later in the week...
I'm old Redskin fan. The Panthers have won a lot close ones this year and remind of some of the old great Redskin teams. There is never a regular star, other than Davis. Different individuals seem to shine each week. In your opinion is there a particular one that they closely resemble?
Joe Theismann (6:33 PM)
The Panthers have developed their own identity. Of their 14 wins, 11 have been by less than a touchdown. And they've won four in OT. I don't know of any team in football that's been able to do that. It wouldn't be fair to compare them to anyone. I do know that Coach Gibbs wanted to make it a 60 minute game and the last possession we wanted to have the opportunity to win. That looks a lot like the Panthers. I don't think it's cooincidental that Dan Henning, their offensive coordinator, was my QB coach under Gibbs with the Redskins. They run the same plays, they're called the same, and it's the same system. They're enjoying similar success to what we did with the Skins.
Gary: indpls, IN
Joe, Any desire to enter the coahing ranks? Always seems like you have the view of a coach with your commentary
Joe Theismann (6:35 PM)
I really have thought about coaching but I enjoy working at ESPN with Paul, Mike and Suzy, so much that I wouldn't want to give it up. I have done coaching clinics for quarterbacks and I'd like to do more. But a full time coaching job isn't in my future. But if you're asking me to come run a team, as the president, I'm there.
I think Jake Delhomme will be the MVP and shine this week.
Joe Theismann (6:37 PM)
If the Panthers win, you're right Kevin. The Panthers are in Jake's hands. But I also think that if Carolina wins, that one of their defensive guys will be the MVP, likely a DB.
JUSTIN GRAYSLAKE IL
Hi Joe, Do the Raiders have any shot at Eli Manning or will they take a receiver to help with Porter. If no to Manning will they go after Brunell?
Joe Theismann (6:38 PM)
I don't think the Raiders have a shot at Manning, or let's just say they shouldn't. The Chargers would make a mistake if they don't take Manning. They misssed on one Manning, heaven help them if they miss on another.
Do you think it would be wiser for the Pats to run more of the 4-3 D than their traditional 3-4 to help stop the run, or would that be too much to change this far into the playoffs? Thanks!
Joe Theismann (6:41 PM)
I'm glad you asked Adam. The 3-4 is just a term to describe linemen and linebackers on the field. In the case of the Pats, Vrabel was a defensive lineman in college, McGinest played with his hand down in college. If McGinest is standing up it looks like a 3-4, if his hand is down it looks like a 4-3. The reason it creates problems is because O linemen identify a defensive lineman or linebacker to block. Whichever one they don't have the back has. But does the offensive tackle treat Willie like a linebacker when he's standing or a lineman? Part of the phylosophy of the Pats is to create doubt in offensive blocking schemes. You only need to have someone hesitate for a heart beat and it screws up everything on offense.
Jeff (San Jose, CA)
Muhsin Muhammad is 6'2", will he be able to take advantage of his height against the Pats? Perhaps a jump ball in the end zone similiar to the catch he made against the Eagles.
Joe Theismann (6:43 PM)
Jeff, I don't think his height is an advantage. I doubt they'll allow him to get matched up with Poole. Any time around the goal line, I would look for Law to get physical with him. Law, McAllister, -- two of the best DBs in football (and Champ Bailey).
Jim; Madison WI
Joe, As a Packer fan I love Brett Favre most times but really despise his numerous poor decisions with critical throws (1st down in OT, 1st and goal, etc.) In your opinion is the good worth the bad? Any chance of getting him to take less chances or is he "too old of a dog" to change?
Joe Theismann (6:44 PM)
You're never too old to change. Brett, actually has done a better job. If you're refering to the last pass he threw in the playoffs, it should have never gotten to that. You can't let people convert fourth down and 26.
Joe Theismann (6:45 PM)
One other thing, fourth and 26 for the Packers has now become their painful cry. Just as wide right has been for the Buffalo Bills for all these years...
Tom, Philly, Pa
Joe, what is your best memory from football and your worst?
Joe Theismann (6:47 PM)
The best is the NFC Championship game in 1983 at RFK Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys. Just as we were reaching the end of that game, the fans began to bang their feet on the seats and as I stood on the sidelines, the ground beneath my feet shook. That was something special. As far as the worst feeling, was walking off the field in Super Bowl XVIII, knowing that I could have prepared and played better and given our team a chance to win.
Simon, Lexington MA
Joe, there are a lot of guys who will do well, but do you think there are any guys that haven't done that well throughout the season that will step-up in this game?
Joe Theismann (6:50 PM)
The Super Bowl is a funny thing. It always seems like the guy that no one expects to have a great game, does. For the Pats it could be someone like Larry Izzo or Larry Centers. For the Panthers, it could be Brad Hoover or TE Kris Mangum. But it always seems like there is that one guy who makes one play that makes the difference in the game. Whether it's Ricky Proehl for St. Louis or Brandon Stokley when he was with Baltimore. Who gets to be the magic man Sunday? Stay tuned...
Jacob (Washington DC)
If you could pick anyone in the NFL to build your team around, who would you pick? (Priest Holmes chose Ray Lewis)
Joe Theismann (6:51 PM)
One player to build my team around I would probably take Donovan McNabb. He needs to work on his footwork, but he's tough, smart, and he's a playmaker. McNabb can be a star for a long time in this league. Remember, the Colts chose to build their team around Peyton Manning. I think the quarterback is the place to start, of course, that's coming from a quarterback.
Bob; Memphis, TN
Do the Panthers have enough good receivers to spread the Patriot's defense and run Davis up the middle
Joe Theismann (6:55 PM)
Yes. Muhammad, Proehl and Smith can do a good job. Going back to the earlier question about unsung heros, one guy I left out would be Kevin Dyson. Remember, the Panthers got Dyson because of his big-play ability. He was a big-time weapon for the Titans. So, yes, I think Carolina can spread them out. The problem is that you better make sure you protect Jake. Also, I think Steve Smith is sensational. He is, to me, the MVP of the Panthers through the playoffs. Just as I believe Willie McGinest is the MVP for New England.
travis (knoxville, tn)
Joe, what do you think of the norv turner hire?
Joe Theismann (6:56 PM)
The Raiders made an excellent decision in hiring Turner. If they had brought in a young coach, I think the veterans on that team would have run over him and taken everything to Al. At least with Norv, you have a history of success and a head coach that's been around long enough for the players to respect. Plus, I believe Rich Gannon might have been in Washington when Norv was there. I like the hire a lot. I'm happy Norv gets another chance.
Ben; Neward, DE
What's next for the Philadelphia Eagles?
Joe Theismann (6:59 PM)
Go find some receivers that can play physical football. If you're going to run the West Coast offense, you need guys who can get off of jams, get out of traffic and run with it. Anyone who has been following my radio shows or game analysis, would know that I felt Carolina would beat the Eagles because their receivers were a liability. I don't think Carolina can have the same kind of physical effect on NE's receivers.
Who will win the super bowl?
Joe Theismann (7:00 PM)
I'm saving my Super Bowl prediction for later in the week. And oh, by the way, I'll even give you the exact score. Remember, not to blow my own horn, and being the humble person that I am. I was the guy who told you that the Pats would beat the Rams. Don't be a fool, go to school, with Joe Cool!
Joe Theismann (7:03 PM)
I'll be back on Friday to chat again.. On Wednesday, John Riggins and I will present the FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players Of the Year Award. The three nominated RBs are Ahman Green, Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes. The three QBs are Steve McNair, Dante Culpepper, Peyton Manning. It should be interesting to see who you the fans chose as your air and ground players. Voting was closed on January 19th. As I mentioned, the results will be announced Wednesday. Log onto NFL.com and find the information.
Joe Theismann (7:04 PM)
Talk to you Friday